High cell-autonomy of the anterior endomesoderm viewed in blastomere fate shift during regulative development in the isolated right halves of four-cell stage Xenopus embryos


Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.

 Email: kogamasa@fukuoka-u.ac.jp


The isolated right half (RH) or left half (LH) of Xenopus embryos can undergo regulation so as to form well-proportioned larvae. To assess how the combined actions of maternal determinants and cell–cell interactions contribute to form the well-proportioned larvae, we quantitatively compared four-cell stage blastomere fate between normal larvae and regulated larvae from RH embryos. In normal larvae, the clones of the right dorsal blastomere (RD) and right ventral blastomere (RV) were located unilaterally. In contrast, in regulated larvae: (i) the RD clone exclusively occupied the anterior endomesoderm (AE) derivatives, coinciding no RV progeny in those derivatives of normal larvae. The clone bilaterally populated tissues along the dorsal midline, which characteristically included the medial regions of both somites adjoining the notochord, with higher percentages on the right and anterior sides. (ii) The RV clone extensively compensated for the missing left side at the expense of its right side contribution, and bilaterally occupied the ventroposterior and also dorsal regions excluding the AE derivatives. This clone considerably populated, with altered orientations, the derivatives of the left half gastrocoel roof plate (GRP), the left half GRP being essential for laterality determination. These results show that the high cell-autonomy in the AE constitutes a mechanism common to both normal and regulative development. In regulated larvae, cell–cell interactions shifted the midlines on the dorsal side slightly and the ventral side to a greater extent. The cell lineage difference in the left half GRP could result in a different utilization of maternal determinants in that area.